PROACT BULGARIA

NO EXTENSION OF BULGARIAN WATERFOWL HUNTING SEASON

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PROTEST AGAINST EXTENSION OF WATERFOWL HUNTING SEASON IN BULGARIA

Red-breasted Geese
Photo: Wildlife & Wetlands Trust


Background

Bulgarian legislation lays down that the open season for waterfowl is closes annually on 31st of January, but every year hunters put immense political pressure on the government in order to extend the hunting season. This can be done by ministerial decree and in 2007 the season was extended for a further two weeks to the 15th February as compromise between hunters and the demands of conservationists. This year on 8th February the Minister of Environment agreed that the hunting season should be extended further again and the Head of the State Forest Department issued an order for an extension to 18th February. This decision was made the heavy pressure from a few VIP hunters (Bulgarian MPs). Experts in Ministry of Environment and the State Forest Agency are against the extension of the hunting season. It was achieved by a coordinated action between the Bulgarian Hunting Association and the hunting associations in Greece and Romania, who sent letters to Bulgarian authorities.
Bulgaria is perhaps the only Balkan country where hunting of waterfowl ends as early as 31st of January and the pressure for a permanent extension of the season is strong.

The weakness of the environment minister in giving in to pressure by the hunters is an important matter of principle, and one which they will attempt to exploit. The hunters are most unhappy about the 'short' extension this year and they are already discussing starting a nationwide campaign in order to achieve a radical change in the legislation and to have the hunting season permanently extended to the end of February or March. They are also calling on the Greek and Romanian hunting seasons to lend them their support.

A new draft of Hunting and Game Protection Act has been produced by the responsible parliamentary committee. It is unacceptable to conservationists as it prolongs the wildfowl season permanently and gives other unacceptable right to a small group of hunters.
 
It is important that this draft law is resisted and sent back for revision, and that conservationists throughout Europe and beyond rally to support their Bulgarian colleagues.

Click on the link below for photos of illegally shot Red-breasted Geese and Bulgarian hunters'bags from this season (permitted bag: maximum of 3 geese and 5 ducks but this is mostly ignored).

HUNTING PIX


WHAT YOU CAN DO

You can support the Bulgarian conservationists by signing the
 
 
 
and by joining the Proact protest action and sending an individual email to the responsible Bulgarian authorities (email link and text below):

MAIL TO THE BULGARIAN AUTHORITIES

Reject the new draft of the Hunting and Game Protection Act and the extension of the hunting season for waterfowl!

 

To:

The President of the Republic of Bulgaria

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria

The Chairman of the Parliament of the Republic of Bulgaria

The Chairman of the State Forest Agency

The Agriculture and Forest Commission of the Parliament of the Republic of Bulgaria

The Commission on Environment and Water of the Parliament of the Republic of Bulgaria

The Anticorruption Commission of the Parliament of the Republic of Bulgaria

The Commission on Prevention and Combating Corruption at the Council of Ministers

The Prosecutor General of the Republic of Bulgaria

The Parliament Members of the Parliament of the Republic of Bulgaria

cc.

The European Commission

The GD Environment of the European Commission

 

 

Dear Ladies and Gentleman,

 

I am seriously concerned that the draft bill containing changes to the Hunting and Game Protection Act, which has been developed with a complete lack of transparency and without public participation of any kind, violates the established principles of sustainable use of game resources, resulting in an environment of corruption and non-democratic practices.

 

I urge most strongly that the Bulgarian Parliament returns this bill to the responsible Commission for revision!

 

I also strongly recommend that a new bill is drafted by a task force consisting of experts representing all stakeholders and in line with the principle of absolute transparency. A bill drafted by such a group should, in my opinion, exclude the abuses contained in the present draft:

 

  1. Extension of the hunting season for waterfowl from January 31st to February 29th. This extension represents a serious breach of the EU Birds Directive, the national Biodiversity Act, as well as of the Bern and Bonn Conventions ratified by the Republic of Bulgaria;
  2. Hidden privatisation of the state game breeding stations in the form of concluding contracts for joint management and the unprofitable leasing of the state hunting grounds;
  3. Providing exclusive rights to a single hunting organization, placing it over and above all other hunting and nature conservation organizations working for the protection and management of the Bulgarian wildlife, in complete contradiction to the principles of democracy and non-discrimination.

 

I am writing to urge you to actively support the drafting of a satisfactory and modern-day Hunting Act that meets the expectations and wishes of the majority of the Bulgarian people.

 

In anticipation of your positive action in this matter I remain,

 

 

 

Yours sincerely,

(Name and address)


Many thanks for your support,

David Conlin

for Proact International and Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation


 
Last updated on:

Proact 2000-2008